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J Immunol. 2004 Aug 15;173(4):2736-45.

Tolerance induced by the lipopeptide Pam3Cys is due to ablation of IL-1R-associated kinase-1.

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Institute for Immunology, University of Muenchen, Muenchen, Germany.


Stimulation of the human monocytic cell line Mono Mac 6 with the synthetic lipopeptide (S)-(2,3-bis(palmitoyloxy)-(2RS)-propyl)-N-palmitoyl-(R)-Cys-(S)-Ser(S)-Lys(4)-OH, trihydrochloride (Pam(3)Cys) at 10 microg/ml induces a rapid expression of the TNF gene in a TLR2-dependent fashion. Preculture of the cells with Pam(3)Cys at 1 microg/ml leads to a reduced response after subsequent stimulation with Pam(3)Cys at 10 microg/ml, indicating that the cells have become tolerant to Pam(3)Cys. The CD14 and TLR2 expression is not decreased on the surface of the tolerant cells, but rather up-regulated. Analysis of the NF-kappaB binding in Pam(3)Cys-tolerant cells shows a failure to mobilize NF-kappaB-p50p65 heterodimers, while NF-kappaB-p50p50 homodimers remain unchanged. Pam(3)Cys-tolerant cells showed neither IkappaBalpha-Ser(32) phosphorylation nor IkappaBalpha degradation but MyD88 protein was unaltered. However, IRAK-1 protein was absent in Pam(3)Cys-induced tolerance, while IRAK-1 mRNA was still detectable at 30% compared with untreated cells. In contrast, in LPS-tolerized cells, p50p50 homodimers were induced, IRAK-1 protein level was only partially decreased, and p50p65 mobilization remained intact. It is concluded that in Mono Mac 6 monocytic cells, inhibition of IRAK-1 expression at the mRNA and protein levels is the main TLR-2-dependent mechanism responsible for Pam(3)Cys-induced tolerance, but not for TLR-4-dependent LPS-induced tolerance.

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